When it comes to events on the track, few boys teams in the area enjoyed as much success as Pacific did during the 2012 spring season.
To illustrate that, the Indians sent all four of their relay teams to the MSHSAA Class 3 track and field championships at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
Pacific’s lone all-state performance came in the 800-meter relay, where the Indians finished sixth in a time of 1:31.3.
In the preliminaries of the 800-meter relay, the Indians posted a school-record time of 1:30.97, which was sixth-best.
Representing the Indians on the 800-meter relay team were Jeffrey Hinkle, Kyle Burgess, Alex Gentry and Dillon Bowers.
“I’m real proud of those guys. Three of them are seniors, so that’s a good way to end the season. We have another one coming back and another kid who ran on the team early in the season, so we could be strong again next year,” said Pacific Coach Jim Rutherford. “We made a change late in the season that seemed to work. Hinkle went from running anchor to running first and Bowers went from first to anchor. We immediately took off two seconds and kept peeling time off from there.”
Sikeston won the finals race in a time of 1:28.95.
“Overall, we did pretty well. It was tough with all of the competition here, but I thought we fared pretty decent,” Hinkle said. “We probably could have done a little better, but overall, we ran pretty well.”
Hinkle ran the opening leg for Pacific.
“I probably could have started a little better. I tried to maintain where we started,” Hinkle said. “I really wanted to catch the Lutheran North kid in front of me, but I just couldn’t find a way to catch him.”
Burgess ran in the second spot for the Indians.
“It went pretty good. I held my ground pretty well,” Burgess said. “I ran my heart out, but it obviously wasn’t good enough.”
Gentry ran the third leg for Pacific.
“We all ran great. I tweaked my knee (Friday night) in the pool. I still felt like I ran well. We all ran well,” Gentry said. “We’re not used to this type of competition. I still feel like we held our ground pretty well.”
Bowers ran the anchor leg.
“It was tough. Everyone was really fast in that fourth leg,” Bowers said. “Gentry ran his heart out on the third leg to try to get me up there. They were just too fast today.”
Rutherford said the Indians stepped up to the challenge.
“They competed hard and stayed motivated,” Rutherford said. “To get there and see that competition, some kids tend to falter. Our guys really competed. I’m proud of them for that.”
The sixth-place finish put the Indians on the medal podium.
“We’re stoked to get all-state. There’s not a better feeling,” Burgess said. “I wish we were higher up, but it still feels great.”
Gentry had similar thoughts.
“I wish we could have done better. I love these guys. It was a good senior season to end on,” Gentry said. “We had a good year. We broke some records. We had a really good senior class.”
Bowers and his teammates will cherish the state experience.
“It was a great season. We all did our best. We broke records the past five meets in a row,” Bowers said. “We’re pretty happy with the season. To get to the state finals is sick. It was a really great time.”